Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Progressive Storytelling

As we've mentioned before, children are natural storytellers. Whether they are retelling an event from their daily life or making up a new adventure, children's imaginations can make for a fascinating story time.

One way to engage your children in active storytelling is to do progressive stories. This could be a good camping or power-outage activity, or just a way for everyone to enjoy a little time together away from technology.

The idea of a progressive story is that it is a collaborative storytelling effort. One child (or a parent) begins the story by describing a character and setting, such as:
Once upon a time, there was a little girl who lived in a castle. She loved to wear pink every day.
The next person takes the next step, possibly sending the little girl into the woods on an errand, or introducing another character (like a villain). The point is for each person to propel the story forward, and to eventually come to a happily ever after (or not) ending.

One of the best things about telling progressive stories with your kids is how it brings to light each of their individual personalities. Your story will be so full of twists and turns that your little pink-loving castle dweller could end up on Mars defeating an alien horde with a handsome prince from a distant galaxy!

Be patient and have fun with this. As the story progresses your kids might, in their excitement, try ditching the original main character and start a whole new story. Keep them on track and remind them of the importance of seeing the story through to the end--just like in their favorite books and movies.

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